11 Homemade Easter Egg Dyes

Skip the kit and try coloring Easter eggs naturally with homemade dyes that use coffee, onions, blueberries, and other kitchen finds.

From Baking Soda, Banana Peels, Baby Oil, and Beyond (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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Basic Egg Coloring How-to

1. Gently wash eggs with soapy water and dry. 2. Place a single layer of eggs in a non-metal pot with the dye (see next slides for colors and sources). 3. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar to 1 quart water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, and remove pot from burner. If you like the color as it is, dab off excess dye with a paper towel and set the eggs on a rack to dry. To deepen the color, leave eggs in the pot until cool. To get even richer shades, put cool eggs in a bowl, strain the dye water, and pour it over the eggs. Store the submerged eggs in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Note: Quantities are based on 1 quart of liquid. Amounts of dyeing ingredients are approximate; more dyestuff and longer dye baths produce the deepest colors. All boiled eggs should be stored in the refrigerator, and any that have soaked in hot or warm water for several hours should not be eaten.

Natural Easter Egg Dye #1: Brewed coffee

Quantity: 1 quart strong coffee plus water to cover the eggs
Color: Brown

Natural Easter Egg Dye #2: Blueberries

Quantity: Up to 4 cups
Color: Lavender

Natural Easter Egg Dye #3: Yellow onion skins

Quantity: Up to 4 packed cups
Color: Sienna

Natural Easter Egg Dye #4: Beet juice

Quantity: Half strength or more of the vinegar water
Color: Deep pink

Natural Easter Egg Dye #5: Cranberry juice

Quantity: Full-strength
Color: Light pink

Natural Easter Egg Dye #6: Paprika

Quantity: 3 tablespoons or more
Color: Brick red

Natural Easter Egg Dye #7: Turmeric

Quantity: 3 or more tablespoons
Color: Yellow-green

Natural Easter Egg Dye #8: Purple grape juice

Quantity: Half or more of the liquid
Color: Blue-gray

Natural Easter Egg Dye #9: Red cabbage

Quantity: 4 or more cups, chopped (boil and then soak overnight)
Color: Robin's egg blue

Natural Easter Egg Dye #10: Spinach or grass

Quantity: Up to 4 cups
Color: Green

Natural Easter Egg Dye #11: Red wine

Quantity: Full strength or diluted with water only
Color: Deep purple